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Oviatt Spotlight: Student Awards Ceremony

Contributed by
Virginia Elwood-Akers
CSUN Librarian Emeritus

Student employees are the backbone of the Library. Just ask any staff or faculty member, and they will tell you that their department could not possibly function without the small army of student employees who come to work every day in the Oviatt Library. Each year the Library employs an average of 145 CSUN students who work in part-time positions ranging from shelving books to greeting the public at service desks. They are loyal and hard-working, and many go on to work in the Library or even go on to become librarians after graduation.

Cake that has 'Student Employees Rock' written on it

In recognition of their vital contributions, each year the Library’s student employees are honored in a luncheon ceremony held in the Oviatt Library Presentation Room. During the celebration, they enjoy themselves cheering for their friends and colleagues who have been nominated for one of the Outstanding Student Employee Awards, or who have applied for one of the Student Employee Scholarships. There is a program of games and entertainment, usually led by Master of Ceremonies Dean Arnold of Music & Media, and everyone has a good time.

Dean Stover addressing the students at the award banquet

This year the ceremony was held on April 17, and $22,000 in scholarships were awarded to a total of 23 students. One student, health sciences major Ashley English, won two scholarships totaling $1,500. Ashley, who works in the Teacher Curriculum Center, was awarded both the Bonita J. Campbell WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Endowment Scholarship and the scholarship donated by CSUN Librarian Emeritus Virginia Elwood. Ashley told a reporter from the on-campus publication CSUN Today that she was thrilled to receive the scholarships to help further her goal of attending nursing school. Another winner was Interlibrary Loan student assistant Erika Panosian, who received the Ardis Flenniken Scholarship. Winner Daniel Ramos works in the Circulation/Shelving unit and was the recipient of one of five Marianne Afifi Scholarships, which were funded by Gus and Erika Manders in honor of the Library’s Associate Dean. (A complete list of award recipients appears at the end of this article.)

Students singing karaoke

Besides the scholarship awardees, the day’s other winners were six young men and women who were selected for Outstanding Student Employee awards. They were William Broughton, who works shelving books in Circulation/Shelving; Cristal Diaz, from the Teacher Curriculum Center; Andrea Larco, who is a staffer on the Circulation desk; Crystal Monroy, from the Universal Design Center; Rachele Pedraza from the Teacher Curriculum Center; and Maher (Matt) Qassis, who works in the Library’s Collaboratory. Each student had been nominated by her or his supervisor for the award. (A complete listing of nominees appears at the end of this article.)

Enjoying the pizza and entertainment, and cheering on the nominees and recipients along with the students, were a number of the donors of scholarships and representatives of organizations which had provided funding for the awards. Donors present included Marianne Afifi and Virginia Elwood; also present were Bernice Haber from the Friends of the Oviatt Library and University Women’s Club representative Betsy Stelck.

The Oviatt Library would like to thank the following campus and community organizations for their generous support: CSUN Student Affairs, Associated Students Recycling, The University Corporation, Trader Joe’s West Hills, Norsal Printing, Matador Bookstore, KCSN, and the Valley Performing Arts Center.

A special thank you to the following for their donation of scholarships: Marianne Afifi, Bob and Sarah Bauer, Ethel Bliven, Dr. Gwen Brewer, the Bonita J. Campbell WISE Endowment, Virginia Elwood, Ardis Flenniken, Friends of the Oviatt Library, Bernice and Leonard Haber, Richard and Diana Homer, Gus and Erika Manders, Rick Nupoll, Judith Nutter, Anne and Dave Perkins, Elizabeth-Ann Purcell, the University Women’s Club, and Alma Zatarain (Great Western Foils).

Check out some of our winners in our gallery below.


2013 Library Student Employee Scholarship Winners: Tiffany Argumedo, Jose Avendano, Zachary Burgenbauch, Ashley English, Mehrbanoo Farehi, Juan Garcia, Jose Gonzalez, Luisa Gonzalez, Cristina Gutierrez, Rebecca Harris, Liliana Jimenez, Anuradha Krishnamurthy, Edras Lepe-Zapata, Tiffany Navales, Erika Panosian, Rachele Pedraza, Daniel Ramos, Paria Soroushi, Carlos Vasquez, Vince Morel Vilan, Gaja Yoon, and Edrina Younan.

2013 Outstanding Library Student Employee Nominees: Precious Allen, William Broughton, Andrei Burke, Cristal Diaz, Michelle Dollente, Maria Duran, Juan Garcia, Mehrbanoo Farehi, Roberto Flores, Andrea Larco, Karla Martinez, Kevin Matsuno, Crystal Monroy, Rachele Pedraza, Maher Qassis, Evelyn Rodriguez, Vince Morel Vilan, and Parisa Zahabi.